“I ran for President promising transparency, and I meant what I said. That is why, whenever possible, we will make information available to the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable.” Obama, 2009
“There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened.” Obama May 23, 2013, when speaking about lifting a moratorium on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen
“I will not leave you on the battlefield. Your country will not leave you on the battlefield. You are not forgotten.” Bob Bergdahl, father of POW Bowe Bergdahl
In June of this year, the Afghan Taliban opened an office in Qatar, to help restart talks on ending the 12-year-old Afghan war, saying it wanted a political solution that would bring about a just government and end foreign occupation of Afghanistan. Senior Obama administration officials described the office opening to as a stepping-stone to full Taliban renouncement of al Qaeda.
The day the scheduled talks were announced, insurgents attacked Bagram Air Base killing 4 US Soldiers and wounded 6 others. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
The U.S. and Taliban representatives were to hold bilateral meetings, Afghan President Karzai’s High Peace Council was to follow with their own talks a few days after. Talks were stalled however; after Karzai was angry that the Taliban had hung a flag and a sign outside their new office calling it the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, which was the name they used when they were in power in Afghanistan.
Karzai threatened to boycott the talks unless the militants ended their violence and the US pulls out of negotiations with the Taliban. “The latest developments show that foreign hands are behind the Taliban’s Qatar office and, unless they are purely Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in talks,” a Karzai spokesman said at the time.
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